MUNICH, Germany — German fighter jets were refueled mid-flight by a U.S. Air Force aircraft during a joint exercise to develop the refueling wing’s agile combat employment concepts.

The video footage shows how U.S. aircraft refueled the German fighter jets mid-air during the training in Germany on March 18. 

“This is interoperability at its best. Multinational exercises remain important for us, especially during the continuing pandemic. Training together with our Allies is the best possible preparation for future missions,” said Lieutenant Colonel Richter, detachment commander of German Eurofighters, Estonia.

During the Baltic Trident exercise, a U.S. Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft assigned to the 100th Air Refueling Wing conducted a successful refueling operation on the German Air Force Eurofighter Typhoon and Tornado aircraft.

The Baltic Trident exercise is a tactical training exercise focused on developing the U.S. Air Force 100th Air Refuelling Wing’s agile combat employment concepts. 

The practice focuses on advancing networks of well-established air bases, multi-capable airmen, various equipment, and airlift to rapidly deploy, disperse and maneuver combat capability throughout a designated zone.

The ACE concept envisions the use of agile operations to generate resilient airpower in a contested environment. It allows USAFE (U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces in Africa) to deter, defend and win across the spectrum of conflict. USAFE is operationalizing concepts designed to become more agile in our execution, more strategic in our deterrence, and more resilient in our capability. 

The Baltic Trident exercise is a tactical training exercise focused on developing the U.S. Air Force 100th Air Refuelling Wing’s agile combat employment concepts. (dvidshub/Clipzilla)

“My whole team welcomes this opportunity to do meaningful, realistic training and hone our skills during combined sorties with the U.S. F-15s or refueling with their KC-135 tanker aircraft. The training during the Baltic Trident enables our short-distance air-to-air fighting drills,” says Richter in a statement

“However, besides partaking in this combined training, we constantly ensure our Eurofighters are available 24/7 to launch to secure the airspace over our three Baltic Allies,” he added. 

The KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft, commonly known as Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker, is a military aerial refueling aircraft that provides the core aerial refueling capability U.S. Air Force and has been in service for more than 60 years since it entered the U.S. Air Force in 1957.

The Eurofighter Typhoon is a European twin-engine multi-role fighter whose prototype took its first-ever flight in 1994 before its production officially started in 1998.

Initially, the Eurofighter Typhoon was designed as a highly-agile superiority fighter, capable of delivering superior effectiveness in combat.

The German Air Force Tornado aircraft, officially called the Panavia Tornado, is a family of three primary variants of twin-engine multi-role combat aircraft, jointly developed and manufactured by Italy, the United Kingdom, and West Germany.

The Tornado took its premiere flight in 1974 and was officially adopted into service in 1979–1980. Since then, it replaced several aircraft fleets in the air forces it joined due to its multi-role design.

(Edited by Pallavi Mehra and Vaibhav Vishwanath Pawar.)



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